Travelling Alone

This time last week I had arrived in Portugal, after travelling alone for the first time. Before setting off I was pretty worried. Worried about having a panic attack, as there were certain things that had triggered them off before while travelling. But after all that I ended up getting to Portugal and back with no panic attacks at all. To say the least I am so proud of myself. To be able to do all of that alone and not have any problems definitely made me feel good.

The one thing that really seemed to make a difference is that when travelling alone, more people began to strike up a conversation with me. It was so nice having people helpful and kind at every turn, even something so small as getting my bag and passing it to me really meant a lot. Then getting onto the plane I even got chatting to another first time solo female traveller, which again was really nice to know that I wasn’t alone in the situation. Even when I arrived into Portugal I noticed there was a difference, not just from staff like the driver to the hotel giving me advice on the best places to go, but even the locals just making chitchat.

As a planner I did a lot of research before setting off, like I would wherever I went even if I was with others. But I think this did help as it made me more prepared, especially in case anything went wrong. Maybe that just me being over-cautious, but I’d rather be extra prepared. Heck I’m that prepared sometimes that on the last night I even quickly totalled up all the cost for staying there a couple of extra days…I know how to find a deal!

Overall though I honestly had an amazing time travelling by myself and would recommend for anyone to at least try it once…I’m even considering booking another trip again soon. On the down side there’s no saying that next time I won’t have a panic attack, but at least for now I’m just proud I did it.

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Oblivious…

It seems to me that I’ve become a bit oblivious to the world around me lately. I walk around on auto pilot too much, which could be a result of being depressed over the years…or it could be because most of the time I’d prefer to be invisible and therefore I don’t take notice in the hope I don’t get noticed myself. As if over the years I’ve slowly  been backing myself out of society, excusing myself to be ignorant.

But by doing this it appears I’ve been also letting the wrong people in and shutting the best ones off to some extent. So this needs to stop. If anything this blog is basically a reminder to myself. To open your eyes! Don’t go through life without living, without knowing or taking notice. Have more interactions with people, even if it isn’t verbal. Because sometimes its the non verbal communications that can mean the most. Even show a spark between two people.

I feel like I have to remind myself a lot of this…but it’s the only way I know how to work it into my head. I think sometimes I just get lost in a sea of social media. I find myself scrolling through Facebook pointlessly for about an hour, before realising that times now gone. So I think I just need to take a step back from that a bit. Focus more on blogging and photography and just exploring and living really.

Ok. Good chat.

Best advice I’ve ever been given…

So recently travelling’s been on my mind a lot. I’m seeing more and more people jetting off to just explore somewhere they’ve never been. Because of this I’ve been thinking about when I could go, and therefore I’ve been talking to more people about it.

Now the only people I’ve really spoken to about it to are people who I’m friends with, or people I strike up a conversation with in the cafe where I work. Out of everyone I’ve spoken to in however many years I’ve had this dream, there’s always been one thing in common. This is company. These people have always had someone with them, mainly friends or even family. Now this is great, I’d love to do that…hell I’d probably prefer to do that in regards to the safety issue but this is a problem.

The problem is… with my group of friends…there are two categories. They either have no interest in travelling or they have either already done it or have already everything out to do it. Which leaves me with the option to go it alone.

I don’t mind the idea of being alone travelling because I like to see the benefit to both sides of everything. For example with this, I’d see exactly what I wanted to see without having to take anyone else desires into consideration. I also feel that I would learn a lot from the experience personally, as I believe in finding/discovering yourself when travelling (which some people will laugh at the idea). Plus travelling alone pushes your boundaries by making friends out of complete strangers.

Anyway so onto the advice…today while I was clearing a table (cafe life) a woman struck up a conversation with me. It was a short conversation, but this lady was very easy to talk to…so even though we were only speaking for about 5-10 minutes I learnt a lot!

We talked about her situation. How she used to live quite close to me but then after her husband passed away at quite a young age, she couldn’t afford the house alone, so she had to move. She had spent 26 years with her husband, she had no family left now. But she was happy, content. We spoke about my situation. How I’d been to university, now living back at home with my parents with a performance degree I do nothing with and a dream to travel.

This sparked something. She herself had been travelling. 29 years ago, she set off to Australia alone and it was only when she was waving her family goodbye the realisation sinked in. She was doing this, and she was doing it alone. She talked with so much enthusiasm and insight. She said she never regretted it for a moment, and if she hadn’t of gone she would have never met her husband. As I was just about to return to work, she said…just go. Go live and explore, if it doesn’t work out at least you’ve tried it and you can come back home but just do it…take a chance.

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” – Lewis Carroll

Where are your eggs?

Easter is the only time of the year, when it is perfectly safe to

put all of your eggs in one basket!

The origin of this quote of course comes from the saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Meaning that we shouldn’t focus all out energy or money or even our future onto one thing.

Which in my opinion is true…you never know what the future will bring, things might not pan out the way you hoped. But saying that you don’t want to live your life never taking risks, as it might be that one time you do risk everything that your dreams actually come true.

It’s a hard life, for some more that others. But I think the main thing to remember is that life is all about taking risks, we make mistakes and then we learn from them…just maybe have a back up plan just in case?

Live life to the fullest!

Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die tomorrow.

– James Dean.

This is one of the very first quotes I fell in love with. It’s something I personally constantly need to improve on. I waste so much time just doing things that pass the time and mean nothing to me, or give me any personal pleasure. I want to live, and experience and just enjoy life. I tend to put things off, saying I’ll do it tomorrow, or I’ll start tomorrow. I need to get into the habit of living for now. Why wait? Live as if you’ll die tomorrow, no need to regret then…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

As another year passes, we all start to write a list of our hopes and dreams for the year to come. This year I’m not going to do that, what I will do though is promise myself that I won’t live this year on cruise control. I won’t let opportunities pass me by this year, and I’m going to try my best to step out of my comfort zone. This year for me is the year of travel, taking risks and finding adventure. So lets get started shall we, and as Leonardo DiCaprio said in Titanic…

MAKE IT COUNT.

An Unlikely Teacher

In life we learn a lot of lessons. Some are easy, some are hard and some…well you just don’t see them coming, especially from certain people. One lesson I’ve learnt the hard way, is pretty simple. Expect the unexpected. Nowadays I seem to think of all possible outcomes for certain scenarios…and I don’t think I used to do it. Whether that’s down to growing up, I’m not sure. But it’s a lesson you have to learn sooner or later. Whether it’s in love, a job, a friendship or even just family life…it happens and you can’t always trust the people you want to. So expect the unexpected BUT don’t let the fear hold you back in any way…